Constant customer support requires automation to do the heavy lifting. A reason to automate customer support. And, when we say automation, chatbot tops the list. But that doesn’t necessarily mean giving up on personalisation.
Gone are the days when people did not want to talk to chatbots. Chatbots are the best way to automate customer support. Earlier, people approached chatbots with a heavy dose of trepidation. Due to the concept of generic and one-size-fits-all solutions that a chatbot would throw at them readily. Also, those chatbots could never refer to the user name or understand their preferences which gave chatbots a whole host of reasons to lack personalisation.
With AI and NLP constantly evolving, much has changed now. Users are delighted with self-service rather than relying on support agents to get things done. The underlying reason could be self-service as it is most often quick and easy than waiting on someone
Striking a conversation, turning a visitor into a lead, helping them make buying decisions, and guiding your customers to carry out step by step processes, etc can all be automated.
However, businesses are still concerned about losing personalisation as they introduce automation into their system. In this article, we will walk you through how you can automate your customer support without losing personalisation. At the end of this post, you will learn the use cases and know how to benefit from implementing them in your business.
Suggested Reading: Faster, Smarter, Better – AI is improving Customer Service
11 Ways To Automate Customer Support
#1 Greeting your customers right
The first impression is the best impression. Every chatbot does greet its customers before starting to strike a conversation. But there is only a thin line of difference between the greeting and robotically saying a hi. Setting the first impression right is highly imperative from the get-go. For example, instead of just saying “Hi, I’m your bot” you could rather say “Hi John, I’m your support assistant, how may I help you?”
Simple yet powerful, right?
Both the responses serve the same purpose but make a huge difference in conversion. This also helps in overcoming any negative connotations that the users could have about chatbots.
#2 Automate Customer Support that lets you Communicate with Context
Automated chatbots allow you to set up triggers before starting to strike a conversation. Depending on the amount of time spent by your website visitor, and which page the user is on, you can understand the user intent and trigger a personalised message.
Another example – you can train your chatbot on some of the common problematic areas of the product. This way, you can leverage your chatbot to voluntarily reach out to users asking if they need help with something at the right time.
#3 Showing Personalised Offers for Repeat Purchases
Segment your customers and send them offers and discounts on repeat purchases. The idea here is to not treat the repeat users the same as a first-time user. You can do this by triggering campaigns for repeat users in a certain segment. This not only helps in retaining customers but also makes them happy to keep coming back to you.
#4 Enabling Self-service through Automated Customer Support
Creating a chat thread through which customers can repeat their purchase is one way of enabling a hassle-free checkout or buying process. The same goes for repeat purchases of groceries, food etc. Bots also help in performing some of the monotonous tasks like booking your customers’ calendar. This is especially useful if you live in a time zone different from your customers’. Below is an example of how Hubbot sends calendar invites to its customers.
Another use case – Showing related FAQs also helps customers find solutions for themselves. This comes in handy if you want your customers to perform a particular set of actions which they can do by simply following a guide or a solution article. This saves time and effort for both users and the agents.
The beauty and fashion retailer Nykaa does something along the same lines.
Customers are given a button called ‘Beauty Advice’. Once they click, the conversation is then automatically handed off to one of Nykaa’s in-house experts who would handpick products based on an individual customers’ requirements, eliminating the need to assign conversations manually.
Suggested Reading: Scale vs Personalisation in Customer Support.
#5 Prompting Users to Perform an Action
When you visit the H&M site, you might notice that users are expected to choose their country/region before starting to shop. And it just doesn’t end there. Users are also expected to hover at the top to choose their gender to start shopping from a category relevant to them. Well, this is not the case just with H&M but also with a lot of other businesses as well. However, this can be simplified easily with chatbots. A chatbot can prompt users to take actions right away.
You can either use your chatbot to capture user details while they are hovering around your website (thus increasing the chances of turning a visitor into a lead) or, you can also prompt users to create an account by triggering a message after the user has spent a certain amount of time on the page. And this is how segmenting and understanding user preferences is made easy.
#6 Solving Repetitive Customer Queries
You don’t want to dilly dally by attending to customers with repetitive questions. Repetitive queries can be answered using pre-populated responses that can be edited at the time of sending (if needed) to fit in the customers’ use case. Many customer support software supports a feature called canned responses which is a must-have, especially while handling an influx of conversations.
Suggested Reading: Resolving conversations faster with canned responses
#7 Sending Bulk Announcements by Automating Customer Support
Remember the times your website or product was down and your customers raged at you outwardly? It can’t be true anymore with automation. One of the best ways to communicate with a mass audience is by sending bulk messages. Consider sending a message like this:
In the above example you could see that the message was not just sent in bulk but also personalised based on the region’s language.
Now tell us. Would you prefer sending a one-on-one message or a mass message?
#8 Keeping it Humorous and Witty
You do know why people like Siri and Alexa, don’t you? Whenever your bot is fired with a fusillade of irrelevant questions, you can still train your bot to keep the response as funny as possible rather than keeping it all serious and straightforward. Your bot not only comes across as witty but also keeps the conversation going. After all, a dad joke and pun here and there probably won’t hurt anybody though.
Suggested Reading: Improve customer experience by giving your chatbot a personality
#9 Reminding your Customers to Pay their Bills
You don’t want your agents to be at the back of your customers to make them pay their bills. Let your bot do it for you. It can send gentle reminders to your customers at the right time on the right channel. Save your customers from unnecessary inundation.
#10 Collecting Feedback through Automated Customer support
You can’t afford to skip collecting feedback from customers after their query has been resolved. Automating this step after closing every conversation, helps your customers record their experience with your bot. You can then collect this feedback to work on your CSAT and other important customer support metrics.
#11 Thanking your Customers, No Matter What
Closing a conversation is as important as starting one. The key takeaway here is to show users that they are not interacting with one of those pesky one-size-fits-all chatbots. Here’s an example of Shopify’s bot thanking its customers for reaching out.
With the influx of conversations that your customer support team handles, automating parts of their workflow becomes mandatory. Remember, the channel through which you communicate makes all the difference. Right message; at the right channel; at the right time is the mantra.
Keeping in mind the real challenge — striking a balance between automation and personalisation, you might have a plethora of options out there to consider. However, boiling down to the right one requires seeking advice and help from industry leaders to perfect your customer support.
Looking for the right choice? Automate your customer support with us.